UV Cured Floors – Part 1

Posted by Victor Mulbauer on April 13th, 2014

One of the biggest hassles in traditional hardwood floor sanding and refinishing is having to wait for the finish to dry and cure before being able to get back on your floor. Let’s face it – you want your life to get back to normal as soon as possible and that means being able to replace your furniture and walk on your floors as soon as you can.

Before we get into all the details and benefits of a UV cured floor finish system, let’s talk about why such a system is needed.

First though, when it comes to floors being ready to use after the refinishing process, most people get confused by the terms ‘dry time’ and ‘cure time’ so I’ll quickly explain each below…

Dry Time Vs Cure Time

Dry time is simply the amount of time it takes for the finish to be dry to the touch so it’s able to be carefully walked on. Cure time is completely different though.

Cure time is the length of time ti takes for all of the solvents or liquid carriers to evaporate from the finish, for the fumes and smell to stop being emitted and fro the finish to fully harden. It is an important part of the finishing process because once a floor has fully cured it can be subjected to long-term normal wear and tear without you having to worry excessively about damaging it.

For more common traditional finishes used in Detroit like water-based and oil modified, the cure time can be anywhere from 7 days all the way past a month. There are many factors that speed up or slow down the curing time including the type of finish system, the temperature, air flow and humidity levels. Some of these can be controlled and some can’t.

A long curing period means you will need to wait for an extended period before replacing large heavy furniture, floor coverings and rugs. It also means that you will need to be extra careful putting smaller pieces of furniture back as well as being careful in how you use your floors during this time so they don’t sustain any premature damage or wear.

It can be quite the hassle tip toeing around your hardwood floors for weeks on end as you wait for your floors to cure and harden to their 100% strength.

The Unspoken Danger of a Long cure Time

There’s another issue that comes with a long cure time too. As mentioned above, the curing process involves releasing all of the solvents and fumes from the finish. The agents that are released are called VOCs or volatile organic compounds. These solvents and chemicals being emitted from the curing finish are what causes the horrible fumes and smell, especially if you have used an oil based finish.

As you can imagine, VOCs are not good things to be around and breathe in, especially if you’re pregnant or have young children. They’re also dangerous and can be lethal for your pets. The longer your finish takes to cure, the longer you will be subjected to these nasty VOCs.

Cure Time on Commercial Projects

Long cure times are also a major inconvenience for builders, restaurant owners and commercial property manager that need to have hardwood floors refinished as quickly as possible.

Take a restaurant that has badly worn floors for example. Most restaurants are open 7 days a week and don’t have the option of closing down for multiple days in a row as they complete renovations and wait for floors to dry and cure. To do so would result in a huge loss of income. They also can’t have finishes off gassing harmful VOCs for weeks or even days on end. I’m sure nobody would stick around to order a meal in a restaurant that was full of smelly fumes. I know I wouldn’t.

The same concerns come up with commercial retail stores, malls, doctor’s offices and other areas that have customers and clientele come through regularly.

If Only…

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a finish that could cure super-fast so you could completely skip past the long waiting period for it to gain its complete strength, plus… not have any VOCs after it was quickly cured?

Well now there is and that’s where UV cured finishes come into the picture. In Part 2 of this article we’ll go into detail about them and show you how they could make your hardwood floor refinishing project far easier and quicker.

Bona’s GREENGUARD Certification – A Healthier Way to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Posted by Victor Mulbauer, March 23rd 2014

From the very beginning of starting Michigan Hardwood Floors Services we have proudly used Bona finishes. There are a couple of important reasons why we chose to use this company’s products and we’d like to share one of the main reasons with you today…

The Need For Safer Finishes

As you’re probably aware of, traditional oil and solvent based hardwood floor finishes that have been used for decades aren’t the safest products out there. They have high VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and they’re full of solvents and chemicals that pollute our home environment and ultimately the whole environment. You only have to take a quick smell of this type of finish to know they’re not good for you to breathe in, let alone be off gassing as they dry in your home.

Those that have had their hardwood floors refinished with solvent based finish will know exactly what I’m talking about. The stuff absolutely stinks when it first gets applied and, depending on what product you use (moisture cure finishes are the worst), it continues to off gas and stink for days, weeks and sometimes even months. Definitely not good for the long term health of you and your family.

Bona was one of the first pioneers in this new exciting field when they started working on water based finishes way back in 1979. With these new finishes, because ti was mostly water evaporating as the finish dried instead of all solvents, the stink factor was greatly reduced. But the chemicals and solvents that were used in these water based finishes were still very dangerous. And while VOC levels had dropped, they were still way too high as well.

Why Lower VOC Levels are Important

Something that not too many people are aware of is that indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside the same building. Most of this is from chemicals and VOCs that are released into the air from our furniture, from the paint on our walls, the chemicals in our carpets and floor finishes etc.

That’s quite scary to think about, especially considering that most people spend the majority of their time indoors where they are repeatedly exposed to indoor air pollutants – think mornings and evenings before and after work or school and then there’s the long hours you spend sleeping. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EAS) estimates that on average, a normal person receives roughly 72 percent of their total chemical exposure while at home.

That’s not a good statistic.

Enter GREENGUARD Certification…

Bona decided that they wanted to make their water based finishes as environmentally safe as possible so that indoor air quality was at reasonable levels while their finishes dried and cured. To do that, they went to an independent third party organization, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and their GREENGUARD Certification program.

Underwriters Laboratories and their GREENGUARD Certification helps manufactures create and adapt their products and materials for home, school and office interiors so they come out with very low chemical and VOC emissions.

Their goal as an organization is to improve indoor air quality and reduce people’s exposure to chemicals, VOCs and other dangerous pollutants. They test products for more than 10,000 chemicals to ensure they are safe and healthy for indoor environments.

They have became highly regarded as the trusted air quality and low emissions standard for North America. All the products they test – like hardwood floor finishes – undergo independent, scientific testing as well as continued monitoring of their chemical emissions to make sure these products stick to their standard. Obtaining their certification is quite a big deal and not many floor finish companies have this certification for obvious reasons.

Bona has all the certification for ALL the hardwood floor finish products that we use on our clients’ floors.

We care about your floors, but we are also concerned about you and your family’s health. You can be assured that we are using finishes that are among the safest water based finishes currently available. That’s one of the main reasons we choose to use Bona hardwood floor finishes. It also helps that they’re some of the highest quality and most durable floor finishes available as well.